Twenty killed in suicide blast at Pir Rakhel Shah dargah in Balochistan  

October 6, 2017, 8:23 am
Twenty killed in suicide blast at Pir Rakhel Shah dargah in Balochistan  
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Twenty killed in suicide blast at Pir Rakhel Shah dargah in Balochistan  

Twenty killed in suicide blast at Pir Rakhel Shah dargah in Balochistan  

At least 20 people, including a police constable, were killed and more than 30 injured in a suicide bombing on Thursday at Dargah Pir Rakhel Shah in Fatehpur, a small town in the Jhal Magsi district of Balochistan.

Confirming the numbers in the suicide attack, Balochistan spokesman Anwarul Haq Kakar said killed people also included a policeman, Geo News reported.

"Urs was underway when the shrine was attacked," said the provincial government spokesman.

According to police, the suicide attacker tried to enter the shrine and blew himself up when he was stopped by the police.

The explosion, which police attributed to a suicide bomber, took place at the entrance to the dargah at a time when scores of people had gathered to pay their respects. Thursdays are usually busy in terms of attendance at shrines as the day is considered spiritually significant, but the day was also significant for the dargah as it was hosting a bi-monthly event, the Dawn reported.

The shrine is located four kilometres away from the city and the nearest hospital in the area can only accommodate 12 people, so the rescue teams are shifting the injured people to hospital in neighbouring districts. At least two policemen were also injured in the blast. The injured are being transferred to DHQ hospital for treatment.

Police said there were around 800 to 1,000 people inside the shrine when the incident happened.

The Balochistan Home Minister said he has received news of the blast and instructed authorities to respond immediately. Security forces reached the spot and cordoned off the area after the blast. The local administration declared an emergency at hospitals in Sibbi and Dera Murad Jamali.

Locals said the death toll is feared to rise as it may take rescue teams two to three hours to reach the hospitals in neighbouring areas.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attack yet.

Earlier in November 2016, at least 52 people including women and children were killed and more than 100 injured in a suicide blast in Shah Noorani shrine near Hub in Balochistan's Lasbella district.